Would Colored Ink Have Helped You Parse ‘The Sound and the Fury’?


As anyone who was saddled with reading William Faulkner’s mammoth novel back in high school can attest, The Sound and the Fury can be extremely hard to follow — particularly Benjy’s section. We shudder and our eyes hurt just thinking about it. It turns out that the Nobel Prize-winning author was well aware of this fact, and wanted to help readers keep the chronology of his story straight by using different colored inks to designate different time periods.

Now, to mark the 50th anniversary of Faulkner’s death, The Folio Society is taking this clever idea and running with it, releasing a new limited-edition version of The Sound and the Fury that uses 14 colors to breakdown the events in that first part of the novel. (Apparently the two Faulkner scholars working on the project originally planned to tackle the entire text, but ultimately gave up because it “defied that kind of unravelling” — and they’re Faulkner scholars!) The only bad news here: a mere 1,480 copies of the color-coded version of book are being printed at $345 a pop, so the majority of us are still going to be slumming it with SparksNotes. [Guardian via The Millions]